Good dialog is not dry or boring and if done well it mesmerizes as well as advances the plot. It can be chaotic and messy to meet the needs of the character, or calm and lyrical to frame a moment, creating a pause in the action for reflection.
Dialog is an important element in our book Prodigal Wolf. The action is set over three days, and centers on the main character – Carlo Montefiore, so we don’t have the luxury of writing the entire action in real time. Instead we have to weave his history and the story of the Montefiore pack throughout the conversations held between the characters. And even though Carlo is not featured personally in every scene, his absence informs the action as much as his presence does. We get to experience some of the loss and disruption felt by his friends, and the general sense of stasis that has fallen over the pack while awaiting his return--and their natural resentment, once he’s home.
The key moment of dialog is near the end of the first book when Carlo and Angelo are finally face to face, expressing the pain and anger and that each has harbored against the other for years. This is just the first step in their journey of understanding and reconciliation, and with it, the first step in their story, which takes three books to complete. The success of our dialog will be for others to judge – but I hope we succeeded in putting the right words in their mouths.
Carlo has a problem, after years away he’s finally returned to his South Carolina roots – but instead of peace and quiet all he’s found are nosy wolves, romancing twinks, an out of control roommate threatening to expose them all, and a demanding Alpha who just won’t go away.
All his Alpha wants is to show Carlo who he really is, and where he belongs. But Carlo Montefiore is a man fighting his instincts, memories, and responsibilities. His beachside home was supposed to provide sanctuary, but pack politics, unruly roommates, and human neighbors at risk of discovering that shifters exist, are making life anything but peaceful.
Twinks Kevin & Grady have their own problems. Two college freshmen are no match for a couple of hot wolves who like to play chase. If they don’t stop playing games they’ll miss the biggest thing to happen in their young lives—love.
Angelo glanced through the French doors at Giorgio sitting calmly in the office, a cup of coffee balanced on his knee as he chatted with Charles and Daniel. Joshua was making his way over to him through the French doors with two cups in his hands and a friendly smile on his face.
“Nervous?” Joshua handed over a cup before settling his arms on the railing to enjoy the view.
“Nervous? No. Worried, yes.”
“Daniel only told me last night of the final stipulations in Constantine’s will.”
“Yes, they’ve been sealed pending Carlo’s twenty-fifth birthday.” He sipped the strong brew and looked around for a moment. Joshua had caught the motion out of the corner of his eye and grunted, sticking his hand in his suit jacket pocket only to pull out an assortment of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and packaged creamer. They looked a little travel worn but Angelo picked two packets of raw sugar out of the pile with a small smile.
“It’s Daniel, actually... he’s the one always looking for something sweet and always forgetting to pick it up. It’s an old habit now, all my coat pockets are filled with the stuff. Drives the cleaners batty.” Joshua turned back to the view.
“It must be nice having someone take care of you...” Angelo mused.
“Oh, it is. And it’s even nicer to take care of someone else. Every time I hand him a sugar all he sees is love, and all I feel is love. It’s a great thing when such a tiny gesture can mean the world to both of us in the middle of a frenzied day.”
“I wouldn’t have thought of that.”
“Though I think stealing sweeteners from all over New York and stashing it in my clothes isn’t very taxing overall. I have it pretty easy in the love department.”
“I can see that... but still, Daniel is lucky to have you.”
“Yes he is. Very lucky. But it goes both ways. He gave up a lot to be with me, and if it wasn’t for Con, we’d never be together and I’d probably be dead. And even with all of that, it’s only been a short time that we could be married in the state of New York. So I don’t take even a second I have with Daniel for granted—if it means I’m thrown out of some of the best restaurants for pilfering their supplies... so be it. It makes Daniel laugh.”
Angelo sighed. He was about to ask Joshua more about Constantine when he heard the ruckus downstairs.
Joshua raised one perfectly scaped brow. “Francesca?” “Yes.” Angelo confirmed over his shoulder, “Sounds like our guest has arrived.” Heading back into the office he felt Joshua’s eyes on his back.
Angelo had barely reached his desk to sit, when Francesca strode into the room.
“I hope you’re finally going to do something about that insolent mutt!” Francesca’s voice was pitched higher than ever, forcing the words out through her clenched teeth.
Angelo looked around her for Carlo. Instead, Joey stood frozen in the door blocking Angelo’s view of someone else, his face a study in self-control. How Joey accomplished this with his body was beyond Angelo. When their gazes met, Joey’s blazed in fury. Angelo was actually surprised Francesca was still in one piece. No one was more fiercely loyal to Carlo than the furious man before them. They’d grown up that way, each trying to take the blame for the other, even when the truth was obvious to the least observant among the wolves.
Con had indulged them both, in a way—splitting punishments between them. He’d been asked about it once, and Con had said that you can’t buy loyalty, you have to bleed for it. Joey and Carlo had bled for each other so many times they were almost like one; he envied them their relationship.
In his own way Con had been gifting his son with his first lieutenant. Francesca was the one exception to the ‘obvious’ rule. Her blind spot with regards to Carlo was so pervasive it also blocked her understanding of Joey. She really had no idea how close she was dancing to disaster today.
“Do you see how he disrespects you in front of your elders?” She seethed, sweeping her arm around the room. “Don’t you understand what message this sends to the rest of our pack? He is inviting rebellion!”
Joey pushed forward, entering the room and stepping into Francesca’s face, their noses almost touching. “Fuck you Francesca!” He spit out, his voice so in control it sent shivers up Angelo’s back. “Carlo has done nothing to any of you. He’s stayed out of all pack business—in fact, he hasn’t even left the island since his return! I didn’t see you throwing him a welcome home parade, you tattletaling bitch!”
Francesca turned bright red and lunged at Joey only to be thrown backwards by a muscular arm. Angelo didn’t recognize the blond wolf pushing between the pair.
“Damn, that’s not cool.” The man shook his shaggy blond hair out of his eyes, frowning at the woman. The thick cords of his muscled neck bunched, power radiated from him. Angelo’s wolf rose, but didn’t come out since he didn’t sense a real threat from this one. His intent smelled pure.
“Watch it! I’m your Beta, wolf!” she hissed.
The man turned to Joey, “Is she?” He turned back to Francesca. “Are you? Is she really, because I have to say she’s not very good at it.” Joey was smirking at the blond’s words, provoking Angelo’s Beta even more.
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